The Australian Open 2024: Britain’s stars with intellectual and hearing impairments prepare for the PWII & DHoH Championships
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Defending champion Anna McBride and fellow international multi-medallist Esah Hayat are among a strong entry of six Brits for the Australian Open’s second successive championship events for players with intellectual impairments (PWII) and those who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHOH). Here’s everything you need to know, from who’s playing to the draws and scores.
About the Australian Open’s PWII & DHoH Championships
The first of its kind in grand slam history, Tennis Australia joined with the Australian Open to launch their first All Abilities Day in January 2023. The showcase was introduced to celebrate the diverse opportunities available for all members of the community whilst also providing a platform and voice for all involved.
The All Abilities Day also presented the opportunity to showcase many of tennis’ disability pathways, making 2023 a landmark year for the world’s leading tennis stars with an intellectual or hearing impairment after the Australian Open became the first slam to hold the PWII and DHoH Championships.
In its opening year, Great Britain’s Anna McBride made history when she won both the women’s singles and doubles at the PWII Championships, while fellow Brit Fabrice Higgins finished runner-up in both the men’s singles and doubles.
When are the PWII & DHoH Championships 2024?
The PWII & DHoH Championships will take place at Melbourne Park on 26-28 January.
What is the format of the PwII & DHoH Finals?
The PwII and DHoH Championships are both set to follow the same round robin format, with both the women’s and men’s singles draws keeping to a best-of-three tiebreak format. As for all doubles draws, both events will be played as best-of-two tiebreak sets with a deciding match tiebreak where required.
Who is competing in the PWII & DHoH Championships 2024?
Set to be accompanied to Australia by the LTA’s Disability Competitions Manager, Sophie Hall, the six players to compete and receive the LTA’s competition grant includes Fabrice Higgins, Oliver Beadle, Aidan Moody, Anna McBride, Lily Mills and Esah Hayat.
Follow all the latest draws and results from the Australian Open’s PWII and DHoH Championships 2024.
McBride’s Australian Open success 12 months ago began a memorable 2023 during which she also earned two gold medals and a silver at the Virtus Global Games in France, the premier multi-sport event for elite athletes with an intellectual impairment.
She said: “Competing at the Australian Open last year was an incredible experience. Playing alongside the best players in the world and watching them play was very inspiring. I didn't know what to expect as it was a new environment. This year I feel better prepared as I have a better understanding of what is expected and where things are and I am looking forward to the opportunity to defend my titles.”
Former triple world champion Higgins and Beadle return to the Australian Open for the second year in a row, having joined McBride and Mills in a Great Britain team that won eight medals at the 2023 Virtus Global Games.
With elite fields of eight men and eight women contesting both the Australian Open PWII and DHOH Championships, former world deaf youth gold medallist and world doubles silver medallist Hayat will bid to improve on his sixth place at Melbourne Park 12 months ago. Hayat said:
“It was a completely surreal experience to compete at the Australian Open last year; one that I don’t think any of us who played will ever forget. Not only did we have the chance to play alongside the world’s best, but we were able to showcase our sport to so many fans. The whole event was a big leap in the right direction, towards a more widespread recognition of our talents. I had a great week and finished higher than a few opponents that I wouldn’t expected to have beaten a couple of years ago, but this year I’m hungry for more.”